BIOGRAPHY: Major-General Babatunde Abdulbaki Idiagbon (Rtd.)

Major General Babatunde Idiagbon was born on the 14th day of September 1943 into the family of his father Hassan Dogo and mother Ayisatu Iyabeji Hassan Idiagbon in Ilorin, Kwara State. He attended United Primary School, Ilorin from 1950 to 1952 and Okesuna Senior Primary School, Ilorin, 1953 to 1957. He received his secondary education at the Nigeria Military School, Zaria between 1958 and 1962. In 1962, he joined the Nigerian Army by enrolling in the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC). In February 1964, the college was renamed the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).

From 1962 to 1965, Major General Idiagbon attended the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul (PMA Kakul), Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics. Upon arrival to Nigeria from Pakistan he was commissioned second lieutenant in April 1965. He was company commander, 4th Battalion from August 1965 to February 1966. In 1966 he studied for the junior commander course at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. From 1966 to 1967 he also served as an intelligence officer, 4th Battalion and General Staff Officer, 3rd Intelligence, 1st Sector. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1966. He was made the commanding officer, 20 Battalion from October 1967 to February 1968. In 1968, he was promoted to the rank of captain. He was the commanding officer, 125 Battalion, from 1968 to 1970.

On 6 March 1970, Major General Idiagbon married Biodun Idiagbon with whom he later had two sons and three daughters together. In the same year, he was promoted to the rank of major. He was later made brigade major and deputy commander, 33 Brigade from March 1970 to March 1971 and the commander, 29 Brigade from March 1971 to December 1972.

In January 1973 he served as the general staff officer, Grade 1 and later, Principal Staff Officer (PSO), Supreme Military Headquarters. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1974. He was made brigade commander, 31 and 15 Brigades from August 1975 to August 1978. In 1976, Major General Idiagbon proceeded to the Command and Staff College in Quetta, Pakistan, for further military training. In July 1978 he was promoted to the rank of colonel. He was appointed as the director of manpower (manning) and planning, Army Headquarters in October 1979.

In May 1980 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. In 1981, he attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria and in 1982 he attended the International Defence Management Course, Naval Postgraduate School, US. He was the military secretary of the Nigerian Army from 1981 to 1983 and was promoted to the rank of major-general in 1985.

From August 1978 to October 1979, the military Head of State, General Obasanjo appointed Major General Idiagbon as the military administrator of Borno State, Nigeria. He was chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985. He played a key role as the hallmark of Buhari’s military government. He controlled all visible instruments of national, political, governmental and administrative powers.

Idiagbon was responsible for introducing, announcing and implementing many of the government’s major policies, some of which include: war against indiscipline, currency change and currency exchange rate policy, import substitution industrialisation policy, go back to the land programme, among others.

After 20 months in power, the military government of Buhari was overthrown by Ibrahim Babangida on 27 August 1985. Idiagbon was removed from his position as chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters, and he was placed under house arrest for three years.

Major-General Idiagbon received several awards and medals, which includes: Defence Service Medal (DSM), Forces Service Star (FSS), General Service Medal (GSM) and National Service Medal (NSM). He died on the 24th of March, 1999 at the age of 56.



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